E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Castilleja rupicola Piper ex Fernald
cliff paintbrush (cliff paintbrush)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan King  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #12888)

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Distribution of Castilleja rupicola
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a somewhat woody stem-base; stems several, clustered, ascending to erect, 10-20 cm tall, unbranched, thinly long-soft-hairy with crinkly hairs.
Alternate, all divided into 3 to 5 (7) linear, spreading lobes, or rarely the lowermost entire, the lateral lobes not much narrower than the mid-blade, finely long-soft-hairy.
Inflorescence a prominently bracted terminal spike, compact and relatively few-flowered, the bracts bright scarlet or crimson, mostly deeply 5-lobed, much shorter than the flowers, minutely hairy and also long-soft-hairy; corollas greenish, 25-35 (45) mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip beak-like, short-hairy, about equalling or slightly longer than the tube and much longer than the thickened, 3-toothed lower lip; calyces long-hairy, 15-25 mm long, deeply 2-lobed, these primary lobes again divided into 2 blunt or sharp, 1- to 5-mm long segments; stamens 4.
Capsules; seeds many, the seed-coats loose, net-veined.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic cliffs and rocky slopes from the upper montane to alpine zones; rare in the Cascade Mountains; S to OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References